When Liberty National debuted as part of the FedEx Cup playoffs in 2009, everyone liked the views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan – and that’s about it.
One player asked if it was Tom Kite’s first design.
Another person chirped that $250 million doesn’t buy what it once did.
The PGA Tour and the Barclays are back at Liberty National and, after an aggressive renovation to the course built atop a giant landfill, the reviews are more positive.
Bill Haas said he appreciated that the sharp contours on some greens have been softened. Haas said the contours were “drastic” in the original design but have been toned down.
He’s not the only one who likes Liberty National better now.
“They made some changes since we were here last, I think for the better,” PGA champion Jason Dufner said. “I love the routing of the golf course. Obviously the venue and the surrounding areas are great.
“I think the green complexes and the approaches are very, very challenging. I think at times you can hit good shots and end up 40, 50, 60 feet away, or sometimes in a bunker off the green, which can be very frustrating for us at times, but I think the changes are for the better.
“I think it’s getting better. I know that there was a lot of negative feedback from players in ’09, but I think from what I saw (Wednesday), a lot of things have improved.”